William Blake's Job

William Blake, Satan Before the Throne of God, 1825. (detail)  Illustrations to The Book of Job: Engravings 1823–1874.

William Blake (1757-1827) was an important figure in British poetry and visual arts during the European Romantic Age of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  Blake’s idiosyncratic religious beliefs made him hostile to organized religion while maintaining a reverence for the Bible.  Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job, published at the end of his life, is a collection of twenty-two engraved prints. At the bottom of this composition we see Job surrounded by his wife and children, resting the book of the law on his knee. God the Father is mirrored at the top in a similar pose and countenance as Job. Satan is the youthful leaping figure surrounded by flames in the center.  Worked into either side of Satan’s torso are the faces of Job and his wife.  

william-blake-job-1

A book found in the Temple during Josiah's reign, which many scholars link to the book of Deuteronomy.

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